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Lucas' Agent Revives Talk of a Napoli Move in January

The link to Napoli is an old one, but Lucas' agent has revived talk of a potential reunion for the midfielder with Rafa Benitez in January.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

In the past few weeks there's been something of a revival in positivity toward Lucas Leiva, who'd found himself in the crosshairs for most of a dismal 2014. He'd been shunted into an unfamiliar role on the side of a midfield diamond to accommodate Steven Gerrard down the stretch last season and struggled significantly, possessing none of the mobility or athleticism needed to thrive in a role as a shuttler. For many that meant he had no value in the squad, and given that Brendan Rodgers seemed to have little time for any option other than Gerrard at the base of his midfield, they weren't too far off.

The Brazilian stuck around this summer despite mounting speculation that he would leave, and when he's featured in place of Gerrard, he's been more than serviceable, showing plenty of signs that he can still have a positive impact in this Liverpool side as long as he operates in deeper-lying central role. He might not be the same player he was prior to injury, but his stabilizing influence and positional responsibility has been a welcome change, and if Rodgers is willing to give him more minutes as the season progresses, he could yet again prove more than useful.

Only there's now (another) chance he might not be around to do so, with his agent, Enrique Coelho, noting that a move to Italy to reunite with Rafa Benitez might be on the cards this winter:

"Is it possible for Lucas to leave Liverpool in January? Yes, naturally. Lucas really likes Rafa Benitez. After all, the two know each other well from when the Spaniard was manager of Liverpool."

If it leads to something that's bad news for those who'd hoped to see more Lucas as the season wears on; plenty can change from now until January 31st, but with Rodgers hesitant to limit Gerrard's minutes in the round hole of a role he's often jammed into, few would begrudge Lucas the opportunity to move into a situation that would afford more regular minutes in a position that plays to his strengths rather than lays his weaknesses bare.

This particular move doesn't appear to be one that's worth panicking over, however, both for reasons applicable before and those that have emerged on the Napoli end of things pointed out here by Conor. Ideally the minutes start to arrive for Lucas at Liverpool prior to January, and continue to do so over a second half of the season that sees the club improve upon what's been a disappointing fall.

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